• 11:50
  • Wednesday ,10 August 2011

Lawyers threaten to turn to international court if denied access to Mubarak trial

By-Tamim Elyan-Daily News Egypt

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Wednesday ,10 August 2011

Lawyers threaten to turn to international court if denied access to Mubarak trial

 CAIRO: A number of lawyers representing martyrs’ families threatened to take measures towards referring ousted president Hosni Mubarak's case to an international tribunal if the court refuses to allow them to attend the trial.

Twenty-eight of the lawyers who met at the supreme court on Tuesday, were denied entry in the opening Aug. 3 session. Others who just recently joined the case, said that the court is not being fair and warned of an escalation if it fails to respond to their demands.
"This is a case of mass killing and is eligible to be tried by the International Criminal Court. If the court insists on being fair only to the defense lawyers and not plaintiffs' representatives we might consider referring the case to it," said Mohamed Al-Damaty, head of the freedoms committee at the Lawyers’ Syndicate.
They claimed that intelligence bodies did not approve their permits because they had not attach a photocopy of their National ID with their application request; they also criticized the procedures of issuing permits and the interference of the police.
"The procedures are unprecedented, unacceptable and insulting to lawyers as we have to get our permits from the security office at the court," said Sameh Ashour, former head of the Syndicate.
They demanded that they receive permits directly from Cassation Court and sent a strongly-worded request to its head to comply with their demands.
Sixty prominent lawyers from across the political spectrum set up Saturday a new team to represent the martyrs' families in the case of killing protestors in which ousted president Hosni Mubarak, ex-Minister of Interior Habib Al-Adly and six of his aides are charged.
Mubarak, Al-Adly and the police officers stood trial on the Aug. 3 charged with killing protestors during the January 25 uprising, in what was described as the trial of the century.
The new legal team includes lawyers Essam Al-Eslamboly, Mohamed Al-Damaty, Justice Mahmoud Al-Khodeiry, Essam Sultan, deputy head of Al-Wasat Party, Ahmed Abu Baraka, leading figure in the Freedom and Justice Party, Sameh Ashour, acting president of the Nasserist Party and Montasser Al-Zayat, Islamic groups lawyer.
They said that they will be holding continuous meetings for coordination.
"We will divide ourselves into teams each assigned a separate task such as preparing notes, or speaking at the court, while others will be responsible for administrative work," Al-Damaty said.
The lawyers criticized the performance of the legal team representing the civil rights complainants in the first session and stressed the need for a "stronger" legal team to represent the martyrs' families.
However, lawyers who have been representing the martyrs' families claimed that the new group were only after the media spotlight.
"We have been doing all the work and filed complaints to the general prosecutor during the uprising and brought the case to where it is now, but now they want to eliminate us," said lawyer Abdallah Al-Mowazy.
A coordination meeting later on Tuesday took place at the Lawyers' Syndicate to plan the next steps.